Mexican state-owned oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos said it detected the presence of oil at a deep-water field in the Gulf of Mexico.
“There are clear signs of the presence of hydrocarbons in Maximino, but final tests are still needed to fully confirm it,” Pemex announced on Twitter.
It said exploration work was continuing at the field, which is located on Mexico’s side of the Perdido basin in a zone very near U.S. territorial waters.
Pemex has previously found crude at other deep-water fields in the Perdido area.
The Mexican company added that it hopes “to have definitive results shortly on the presence of crude oil in Maximino,” which “is being drilled by the West Pegasus hi-tech rig at a water depth of 2,950 meters (9,670 feet).”
Pemex is currently the world’s fourth-largest oil producer and the taxes it pays account for roughly 40 percent of Mexico’s national budget.
The company produces 2.5 million barrels of crude per day, half of which is exported and the rest processed by the national system of refineries and petrochemical plants.
Mexico is searching for new resources at a time when oil production has fallen from its peak of 3.4 million barrels a day in 2004.
Though production has recently stabilized and the country achieved a reserve-replacement ratio of 100 percent last year, Mexico’s output has suffered from the natural decline of the once-super giant Cantarell offshore field and a lack of sufficient investment.
In addition to exploring deep-water areas in the Gulf of Mexico, Pemex also is looking to boost energy production by assessing its non-conventional reserves.